About the Author

A three-time tongue cancer survivor and mama of children from “hard places," Michele Cushatt is a (reluctant) expert on pain, trauma and the deep human need for connection. Her most recent book, "Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves", wrestles with the dogged presence and affection of...

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  1. Michele,
    Absolutely beautiful! I can testify, in my life, that God has brought great beauty from the ashes of my pain. Going through the crucible of pain and suffering isn’t easy. My spirit and life have teetered on the brink of death because the pain was so horrible. But, I can say, that God’s grace brought me through. With Christ at work in me, I persevered; not in my own strength, but in His. God held me by the scruff of my neck with His righteous right hand. When I’d gone through the pain, through the weeping that lasted through the night, joy finally came in the morning. God restored the years the locusts had eaten and took my faith to a place of deep, abiding trust. This would not have happened had I not gone through the gift of pain and suffering. What a beautiful illustration of this truth.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

      • Hi so ive been in a valley with my family things are not changing, my husband you cant even talk to him, my children (adult) are off on their own lives without a care for their parents .

  2. My 21st-century brain has a hard time holding joy and persecution in the same space, and yet I know the truth of it from reading the sacred pages. Philip Yancey and Paul Brand, missionary physician to lepers, collaborated on a couple of books about the importance of pain in showing up the need for healing, so I want to faithfully submit to the fire when it comes. You’ve definitely hit on a growth point for me here today.

    • I have those books by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand, as well as their newest release “Fearfully and Wonderfully.” They have all been helpful resources through tough, pain-filled seasons. Thank you for sharing, Michele.

  3. Thank you. We can all relate to this article. I HAD to send it to my friend who suddenly lost her husband and I pray this article and verse out things in perspective for her and her daughter. Never lose sight of HIM and stay faithful always.

    • I LOVE the reminder of the hope we have of beauty arising out of ashes. Where I am in my own journey of loss and healing, I can surely see the signs of new life. But I also know there was a time and a season for grief and lament, nothing more.

      Jason Gray’s song “Not Right Now” gave me the space and the freedom to sit in the ashes and mourn without being too quickly pushed/pulled and expected to think about the “good” that will come. Like Job’s friends, I needed people to support without words or visions of what might come from this. “Not while my house is burning down” … “I haven’t even stopped the bleeding yet.”
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ullv_XN2d8M

  4. We have a big big mighty God. Who in Gift of pain still loves was no matter what. Even loves all the world all the people no matter what sorts of all different sorts of pain they might be in. God can use it for his glory. By healing that person even if not saved. To make then think about getting saved. If was sickness they had. They asked someone too pray with them. God healed them of it. It could make them want to thank God for their healing by getting saved. That saved person that God healed standing up in their Church telling and praising God and thank God of how God healed them. Their could be an unsavec person in that service they could get saved. I once was in pain with my sickness now God healed me it could be through God direct or God used the Doctors and the treatment and people’s prayer’s to heal me. If that person had Cancer. God works in ways we would not believe. We just have to trust him and stand on the promises of his word the Bible and prayer if saved. Keep praying and trusting him for those family not saved that they will one day in his perfect timing see the light and get saved. We ourselves might think if in have pain when will God heal me. Should it be through the Doctors or any treatment if not well or God direct. God will in his own time. In his own way. We are not to let the Old Devil whisper in our ear you will never get healed or better. Keep looking up on too God trusting his word the Bible the promises in it and prayer. Look at our world today and the fires that destroy people homes and floods if thoes people sat in that pain and gave up after the flood and the fire had stopped. It had destroyed everything they had. They live with the pain what they lost and not want to get up and rebuild their lives again. Bulid new homes and help thoes around them. Christians go into prayer for them. Try to raise money to help them in any way we can. So this God people helping God people in love and being Jesus to the world and being a Gift in the mist of pain. Like Jesus would want us to do. As we are Jesus if saved to the world doing thing to help in times like this shows we are being Jesus to them and showing his love to them. That what it’s all about as Christian. Excellent reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little

  5. Dear Michele, I hope these words hold true for our nation. I pray that the rifts in our nation will be healed and that new growth will happen. I pray that the haters will learn to love and that we all will remember that we are in this world together and our job here is to love one another.

  6. We have a big big mighty God. Who in Gift of pain still loves was no matter what. Even loves all the world all the people no matter what sorts of all different sorts of pain they might be in. God can use it for his glory. By healing that person even if not saved. To make then think about getting saved. If was sickness they had. They asked someone too pray with them. God healed them of it. It could make them want to thank God for their healing by getting saved. That saved person that God healed standing up in their Church telling and praising God and thank God of how God healed them. Their could be an unsaved person in that service they could get saved. I once was in pain with my sickness now God healed me it could be through God direct or God used the Doctors and the treatment and people’s prayer’s to heal me. If that person had Cancer. God works in ways we would not believe. We just have to trust him and stand on the promises of his word the Bible and prayer if saved. Keep praying and trusting him for those family not saved that they will one day in his perfect timing see the light and get saved. We ourselves might think if in have pain when will God heal me. Should it be through the Doctors or any treatment if not well or God direct. God will in his own time. In his own way. We are not to let the Old Devil whisper in our ear you will never get healed or better. Keep looking up on too God trusting his word the Bible the promises in it and prayer. Look at our world today and the fires that destroy people homes and floods if thoes people sat in that pain and gave up after the flood and the fire had stopped. It had destroyed everything they had. They live with the pain what they lost and not want to get up and rebuild their lives again. Bulid new homes and help thoes around them. Christians go into prayer for them. Try to raise money to help them in any way we can. So this God people helping God people in love and being Jesus to the world and being a Gift in the mist of pain. Like Jesus would want us to do. As we are Jesus if saved to the world doing things to help in times like this shows we are being Jesus to them and showing his love to them. That what it’s all about as Christian. Excellent reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little

  7. This was timely, thanks for your words ❤️
    I went to church this Sunday excited to hear my pastor speak (I’m new in my community and found her sermons so loving and God-inspiring.) We found out instead she had passed away last week, sudden and unexpected, and were told of the memorial plans. It’s thrown a major curveball in the community and in my personal faith as well. I’m not seeing yet how something can grow out of this, and I’m not hopeful yet but I’m reminded that it’s there.

    • Addie, I’m so sorry for the loss of your pastor. How devastating that would be to your faith and community. Praying for glimmers of growth and hope in the midst of the grief. May God meet you in all of it.

    • Addie you and you and your Church might feel you have lost all. You might not have your Pastor any more on this earth. But you all and her family have good memories of her. As Church good memories of times sitting in your Church listing to her excellent sermons. Which you and her family along with the rest of your Church can treasure in your hearts and talk about. As I feel that is how she want you all to remember her. Also remember this even though you ans her family and the Church have nor got her on earth any more. Next time you guys will see her even though you will all miss her on earth and still talk about what a lovely Pastor she was and her family talk about her in their own way. They and you all will se her again in Glory with Jesus with a bran new body. So you guys have not lost all. Yes it sad now for you as Church and her family. My prayers are with all. As one minute she was her. The next God took her home. Ours is not to ask why. Even though you all as Church and her family would like have had her on earth for alot longer. God neeed her in Heaven to be a beautiful angel for him. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

  8. Hi Michele,
    Great message! As I was reading your message I thought about the new Lion King movie that came out this year. I know you’re probably thinking, “What does Lion King have to do with God or my message for that matter.” 🙂 But, at the end of the movie there is a scene where the Pride Lands are on fire. Scar and the hyenas decimated the land (great persecution) but when Simba returned to save the land and his family, through his courage and uprising, all the remaining animals fought back and a huge fire broke out. Now, like yourself having read the Acts scripture several times, I have seen this movie several times. But, this past weekend I saw this particular scene with transformed, open eyes. I saw the fire as a purging, cleansing, and a new thing to come for the remaining animals (great joy). As with man and our personal lives, we need to seek God through the trials, testing, and devastation. Aspiring to gain wisdom and our next step or stop from HIM! As you said, we look at devastation as a bad thing, but we never know or truly understand what God is trying to birth out of our pain or the pain we witness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts~ Charisse 🙂

    1 Peter 1:7 NIV
    “so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

  9. “Ultimately, what began as devastation ended up as salvation.” Wow. What a powerful word, Michele. Now I want to go and read through Acts. Thank you for reminding us that our present darkness doesn’t mean light isn’t coming.

  10. MIchele,

    God never promised us rose gardens. He said we would have trial & tribulations. But take heart for I have overcome the world. Romans 5:3-4 we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I have seen that in my own life. When my dad went into geriatric psych hospital I was scared at first. As time passed God healed my dad & allowed me to have him back for a year. Going through that trial has produced a willingness to trust God more readily. Any trial comes along I don’t get easily upset for I know God has plans for me. God clearly tells us we must die to self & self interests. That death isn’t wasted. New life will spring up. I liken this to winter when snow covers everything. Wait long enough & spring/summer comes when you see all kinds of growth happening. Flowers blooming, grass growing again. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy. He uses everything for our good. Job put it best when replying to his wife: Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

    Blessings 🙂

    • Job is such a rich study for me. So much comfort in another man’s experience with suffering and God he couldn’t always understand. And, likewise, such comfort in God’s sovereign response. Thanks for sharing, Beth.

    • Wow! Needed to read this , i read it twice, i have to die to self and what i want, surrender to god and his plan.

  11. I think heaven sees suffering different than we do. Where they are, they can see past the pain to the beautiful re-birth that awaits. All we can see from our viewpoint is the pain in front of us. Thanks for this reminder it’s all a matter of perspective.

  12. Thank you for this, it really connects with me where I am in my life right now. My husband and I have been going through the process of divorcing for several months now and it absolutely feels like a death with all the stages of grief. I almost feel guilt over feeling that there is even the possibility of a green spark in all of the black death all around me. Divorce wasn’t something i wanted as an option, my thoughts were marriage or forever and that is the premise i got married under but a marriage takes two so here i am. There was a time when this was devastating and it’s still a bit weird but the death of this gives me my life back and allows me to pursue the type of life that God would want me to have which i never could have had married to my husband. Thank you for the reminder of what could be in a year, 2 years, 3 years, etc, because every move i make now (new job, new place to live, new state, etc) i keep thinking is going to be forever but it doesn’t have to me. Everything can just be one green spark at a time as i build me new life and i agree i think it can be better eventually!